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5 Ways to Get the Best Deal on Credit Counseling

Wednesday, 09 Mar 2011 04:04 PM

Credit/Debt Counseling
If you are burdened with debt and find it difficult to come out of the debt trap, you need credit and debt counseling. Credit counseling helps you approach the situation in a methodical and less painful way.  

Two organizations that provide credit counseling are:

State Consumer Credit Counseling Deals:
Garden State Consumer Credit Counseling is a non-profit organization. It assists families and individuals by providing free credit counseling services amongst other things.  

Its certified counselors will review your financial position and design a debt management plan (DMP). They will then send a proposal based on the DMP to your creditors for their approval. Once the creditors approve the proposal, you begin to make payments to Garden State as mentioned in the DMP. Garden State will forward the payments to your creditors. If the creditors reject your proposal, Garden State will study the reasons for the rejection, revise the proposal in consultation with you, and re-submit it to your creditors.  

Genus Credit Counseling Deals
Genus Credit Counseling deals are offered by Genus Credit Management, a provider of credit counseling to people who are in debt. Also called American Financial Solutions (AFS), it is a non-profit organization. Under its debt management plan, it offers debt reduction programs. 

During credit counseling, the organization’s certified credit counselors hold a confidential, one-on-one counseling session with you to assess your debt situation. They then suggest debt management options which help you regain control over your finances in a planned manner. Eventually, you will be able to pay off your debts and improve your long-term credit standings.  

Under their debt management plan, you can consolidate your credit card debt and other debts into one debt and pay off the consolidated debt in convenient monthly installments.  AFS will try its best to persuade your creditors to lower the interest rate and waive late fees and other fees like over-the-limit fees.  

Five Ways to Get the Best Deals on Credit Counseling:
  • Choose the right credit or debt counseling company. Begin with some comparison shopping. Find out the services offered by different companies and the fees they demand. Ensure that all these things are disclosed upfront in writing.
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau and ensure that nobody has complained against these credit or debt counseling companies. You can check with the Attorney General’s office or other consumer agencies of your state to find out if any legal investigation has been launched against them.    
  • Find out from the credit or debt counseling company how they work out your monthly payments, how you will know your creditors have received payments, how often you will get status reports on your accounts, and whether the company will exclude any debt from the repayment plan.  
  • Ask the company if it can persuade your creditors to lower the interest rate and /or waive the finance charges and /or late fees.  
  • Also find out whether the company will help you if you have problems with your accounts or creditors.

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